Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.

Speyside Way - South to North - 6 days

Speyside Way - South to North - 6 days

Postby Kenneth R Sharp » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:01 pm

Route description: Speyside Way

Date walked: 15/06/2014

Time taken: 6 days

Distance: 106 km

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An easy 6 day walk on good tracks and paths, undertaken south to north, with over night stops at Boat of Garden (6 miles), Grantown (10.5 miles), Ballinalloch (14 miles), Craigellachie (12 miles), Fochabers (13 miles) and Buckie (10 miles).

This low level walk, is mainly along forestry tracks and the disused Speyside railway line. Sections alongside the Spey itself are relatively few there are some spectacular views from the high ground and the river is crossed a number of times. The estuary at Spey Bay is rewarding and the a Scottish Dolphin centre is conveniently located here, just 5 miles from the finish at Buckie.

The official finish is now located in the town centre; continue along the coast road from Buckpool and follow the signage to the town centre.

There is one section, the longest and hardest between Grantown and Ballindalloch which is poorly maintained. It has too many squeeze gates, barbed wire fencing and the uneven path is potentially hazardous, especially in wet weather. This is a shame as the contouring around the hills of this section offers good views of Spey valley. I have written a more detailed report on this section.
The first day is really too short and somewhat dull, avoided perhaps by pushing on to Grantown.
The Tomintoul spur was regretfully missed out; this would provided a more Cairngorm experience and added some much need contrast.
A pleasant enough walk, ideal if new to long distance walking.
My weather was excellent.
Start / Finish at Buckie....now located close to the town centre.
A Grey seal at Port Gordon...one of several and close to the shore
The Spey near to Spey Bay
Crossing the Spey at Carron
Ballindalloch station.....
Infamous Squeeze Gates.....too many!
Cromdale Station
Typical section of disused railway near Cromdale
The Strathspey Railway... between Aviemoe and Boat of Garten
Kenneth R Sharp
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 7, 2014

Re: Speyside Way - South to North - 6 days

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:37 pm

Hi Kenneth

Your thoughts kind of mirror mine, the section between Grantown and Ballindalloch gets a bit frustrating with all the squeeze gates but I guess it's probably the price that has to be paid for being able to walk through farmland. I think I know the bit of the track you are referring to with the tree roots and being hemmed in by barb wire - I remember it was bone dry when I did this section but it did make me wonder what it would be like if the ground was wet.

I can recommend the Tomintoul spur (went from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul then back to Ballindalloch the following day), complete change from the rest of the week as you are in the hills and doing a little bit of climbing.

All in all, a good way to spend a few days though - hope you enjoyed it.
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Posts: 2014
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Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

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